If you find yourself in the U.S. as an asylum seeker, you’ve probably endured your fair share of an ordeal. Most likely, you’ve gone through persecution in your country or there is a well-founded fear of persecution.
Being in the U.S. on asylum grants you a long-term right to remain in the country as long as the threat in question holds. This means that as soon as the circumstances in your home country change, you may have to return home. Thus, if you want to remain in the U.S. even after the threat is gone, you need to obtain a green card. But is this possible?
Obtaining a green card as an asylee
Yes, if you are granted asylum status in the U.S., you may be eligible to obtain a green card. However, you must have lived in the country as an asylee for some time. And if you have a spouse and children, they may also be eligible for a green card if they came to the U.S. as asylees or were included in your asylum application. To apply for a green card as an asylee, however, you must meet the following conditions:
- You must be physically living in the U.S. for at least one year after being granted an asylum
- The conditions that led to you being granted asylum must not have changed. In other words, you must continue to meet the definition of an asylee or an asylee spouse or child
- You must not have been resettled in another country
- You must continue to be admissible in the U.S.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services do not require you to apply for a green card if you are an asylee. However, doing so might be in your best interest if you wish to remain in the country even when circumstances in your country have changed.